Tuscaloosa City Schools holds series of community forums

TUSCALOOSA-Tuscaloosa City Schools invited parents, students and members of the community to Northridge High School on Monday for a discussion on the climate and culture within the school system.

It was the first of a three-part series focused on creating an open space so parents can talk about any issues regarding their children.

The event started with a moderated session by Roger Cleveland from Eastern Kentucky University, who was invited to host the forum by TCS Superintendent Mike Daria and Deputy Superintendent James Pope.

“What’s going on today is they are going to share their thoughts from an external perspective about how inclusive the school is,” Cleveland said. “Do the children have a sense of belonging when they come to school? Is the school conducive for learning for all children? So those are the kind of questions we are going to ask the people here today.”

Cleveland said he encourages parents to inform school officials about any issue that continues happening.

Pope said he feels the community’s input is important to building a strong school system.

“Currently we have a strategic plan that addresses family and community engagement,” Pope said. “We want to make sure that we are addressing the concerns our parents may have. We look at this day as being something positive, being open and being able to listen and have open dialogue about what they see, what they are hearing and how we are recognizing those concerns.”

While this week’s community forum and the listening sessions were held at Northridge High School, additional sessions will be held at Central High School and Paul W. Bryant High School later in the school year. Those dates have not been announced.

The system said it will share what it finds and how school leaders will improve issues at a later date.

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